James Bond After Fleming: The Continuation Novels

Thought you might be interested in my new book about the continuation novels.
Ian Fleming wrote twelve original James Bond novels and two collections of short stories. Despite the cultural importance of Fleming’s 14 books, they represent just a fraction of the Bond novels. Since Fleming’s death, his estate has authorized the publication of numerous Bond novels and spin-off works.

These continuation novels include scores of books about Bond’s dangerous adventures, movie novelizations, a pseudo-biography, and various spin-off series about the teenage Bond, the Secret Service’s beloved secretary Miss Moneypenny, and the next generation agents in the Double O division.

For the first time ever, Mark Edlitz offers a comprehensive overview of every exciting Bond adventure in one illustrated volume. Whether you are fully immersed in Bond’s world or new to the spy game, James Bond After Fleming is an essential reference book that is a must-have for any Bond fan.
Happy to answer any questions.

Comments

  • peterpeter Toronto
    Posts: 8,484
    Hi Mark! In your research is there a continuation novel, or novels, that is closest to Fleming?

    I did enjoy Colonel Sun, but missed the Fleming “flow”, and I quit Gardener’s books about halfway through his tenure.

    John Pearson’s biography was outstanding, and I felt closest captured Fleming’s spirit…

    So who, in your estimation, comes closest to the original creator, and why?
  • Posts: 15
    Peter -- that's a great question. There are different ways that an author can capture Fleming, including (but not limited to) his style, plots, characterization of Bond, setting, themes, etc. Very few authors try to achieve all of those categories. However, most of them try to capture some of them.

    Amis was more or less writing when Fleming was, so he automatically captured the setting and time. His torture sequence brings to mind the carpet-beater scenes in CR.

    Horowitz aims for the style and spirit of Fleming and would only write a book set within Fleming's canon/chronology.

    Weinberg's Moneypenny Diaries feels like a proper Cold War thriller.

    Benson wanted to retain Bond's character and insert him into movie-esque plots.

    Wood's first novelization feels very Fleming.

    Other writers take different elements. Higson wants to keep his novels fast and fun, while simultaneously drawing from elements.

    I could go on (and do) but IFP doesn't want its authors to try to just imitate Fleming for any individual book. For starters, no one really can. But also, better books come from when the novelist feels like they can bring themselves to the work.
  • peterpeter Toronto
    Posts: 8,484
    Peter -- that's a great question. There are different ways that an author can capture Fleming, including (but not limited to) his style, plots, characterization of Bond, setting, themes, etc. Very few authors try to achieve all of those categories. However, most of them try to capture some of them.

    Amis was more or less writing when Fleming was, so he automatically captured the setting and time. His torture sequence brings to mind the carpet-beater scenes in CR.

    Horowitz aims for the style and spirit of Fleming and would only write a book set within Fleming's canon/chronology.

    Weinberg's Moneypenny Diaries feels like a proper Cold War thriller.

    Benson wanted to retain Bond's character and insert him into movie-esque plots.

    Wood's first novelization feels very Fleming.

    Other writers take different elements. Higson wants to keep his novels fast and fun, while simultaneously drawing from elements.

    I could go on (and do) but IFP doesn't want its authors to try to just imitate Fleming for any individual book. For starters, no one really can. But also, better books come from when the novelist feels like they can bring themselves to the work.

    Thanks Mark! One of the things that irks me, and why I have been unsuccessful at reading the continuation authors consistently is that, apart from Pearson (especially), and Colonel Sun, the other authors have a character named James Bond, but…. He doesn’t feel like James Bond. That although writers may have different styles and strengths, I feel like I’m not identifying this character as James Bond, 007.

    Is there an author you feel that captures the characterization of Fleming’s Bond? As if he walked straight from the pages of TMWTGG, and into this new adventure written by someone else??
  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    Posts: 4,104
    Peter -- that's a great question. There are different ways that an author can capture Fleming, including (but not limited to) his style, plots, characterization of Bond, setting, themes, etc. Very few authors try to achieve all of those categories. However, most of them try to capture some of them.

    Amis was more or less writing when Fleming was, so he automatically captured the setting and time. His torture sequence brings to mind the carpet-beater scenes in CR.

    Horowitz aims for the style and spirit of Fleming and would only write a book set within Fleming's canon/chronology.

    Weinberg's Moneypenny Diaries feels like a proper Cold War thriller.

    Benson wanted to retain Bond's character and insert him into movie-esque plots.

    Wood's first novelization feels very Fleming.

    Other writers take different elements. Higson wants to keep his novels fast and fun, while simultaneously drawing from elements.

    I could go on (and do) but IFP doesn't want its authors to try to just imitate Fleming for any individual book. For starters, no one really can. But also, better books come from when the novelist feels like they can bring themselves to the work.

    I find that IFP wanted Faulks wanted to imitate Fleming for DMC. I can't wait for your book @ManyLives007 hopefully it will arrive this week. I enjoyed your other books, great for any collection!
  • Posts: 15
    @MaxCasino, completely agree about Faulks "writing as Fleming" for Devil May Care. That's more of an exception, and not the rule. In that case, the book was written for Fleming's centenary. As such, it seemed like good timing to lean into that direction a bit more than usual. To your point, as you might know, Faulks had performed a Fleming pastiche/tribute on the radio, so that they knew he was a Fleming fan.

    Along those lines, a continuation author shouldn't knowingly tamper or contradict the existing facts in Fleming's work. They can add to them or reframe them, but never intentionally contradict.

    And thank you very much for the kind words!
  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    Posts: 4,104
    @MaxCasino, completely agree about Faulks "writing as Fleming" for Devil May Care. That's more of an exception, and not the rule. In that case, the book was written for Fleming's centenary. As such, it seemed like good timing to lean into that direction a bit more than usual. To your point, as you might know, Faulks had performed a Fleming pastiche/tribute on the radio, so that they knew he was a Fleming fan.

    Along those lines, a continuation author shouldn't knowingly tamper or contradict the existing facts in Fleming's work. They can add to them or reframe them, but never intentionally contradict.

    And thank you very much for the kind words!

    You're welcome! I'm happy that you took time to honor the Bond Continuation Novel authors. I think more people need to realize that we should be grateful for them. If we didn't get more books, we would be complaining. Being a James Bond writer for any form of media, is really a thankless job. I'm happy that Bond authors (along with various Bond alumni) have been friendly with me on social media.
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    edited January 21 Posts: 17,787
    For anyone who's not seen it yet this is a great interview with Mark on his new Bond book, James Bond After Fleming: The Continuation Novels, at The Bond Experience:

  • Do you think there's a reason why many of the post 2000s Bond novels have been set in the past? Or is it just a "great minds think alike" with all of the different authors trying to go back.
    And thoughts on Deaver's attempt (especially in comparison to Faulks, Horowitz and Boyd)? I kind of think that it's a good novel but a generic thriller rather than a Bond story.
  • Posts: 15
    @Reflsin2bourbons Faulks, Boyd, and Horowitz all wrote period Bond. That helps place the character in the original time period and helps align him with Fleming's vision. Horowitz feels like you can only tell a good Bond story in that period. Deaver wanted to tell a contemporary Bond story and IFP supported that decision. He felt that the original readers of Fleming were reading contemporary stories. So he wanted to tell a contemporary story. One of the tricky things to do when you do that is that you almost have to reinvent or at least update his backstory. Benson and Gardner were able to avoid that issue because they were close enough to the fifties and sixties that they could just fudge the dates a bit.
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    edited February 22 Posts: 17,787
    Episode 229 of the Spybrary Podcast - James Bond After Fleming: The Continuation 007 Novels with Mark Edlitz:



    https://spybrary.com/james-bond-after-fleming/

    Hosted by Matt Raubenheimer and featuring Mark Edlitz, Bill Kanas (and me). :)
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,787
    The video version of Spybrary episode 229 has now been uploaded to YouTube as well:

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